|Publication number||US8184477 B2|
|Application number||US 13/243,772|
|Publication date||May 22, 2012|
|Filing date||Sep 23, 2011|
|Priority date||Aug 2, 2006|
|Also published as||US7679955, US8048724, US20080031036, US20100142263, US20120014177|
|Publication number||13243772, 243772, US 8184477 B2, US 8184477B2, US-B2-8184477, US8184477 B2, US8184477B2|
|Original Assignee||Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (23), Non-Patent Citations (1), Classifications (5), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a divisional of prior application Ser. No. 12/707,519, filed Feb. 17, 2010 now U.S. Pat. No. 8,048,724, which is a divisional of prior application Ser. No. 11/615,983, filed Dec. 24, 2006, now U.S. Pat. No. 7,679,995 B2, which claims benefit under 35 U.S.C. 119(e) of prior provisional application Ser. No. 60/835,161, filed Aug. 2, 2006.
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to semiconductor devices and more particularly to a switch that has fast switching speed and high current capability.
2. Description of the Related Art
The metal-oxide-semiconductor field effect transistor (MOSFET) is the most widely used switching device in very large scale integration (VLSI) circuitry. Its popularity derives from its simple structure and low fabrication cost. The bipolar junction transistor (BJT) is another semiconductor device. The BJT is widely used in high power and high speed products. A MOSFET is typically turned on by applying a voltage to a gate to create a field effect channel, while a BJT typically is turned on by forward biasing a PN junction which renders the device conductive.
In some applications, it is desirable to have a device that is simple to fabricate and can conduct high current. Examples of such devices are: (1) a lateral double-diffused transistor (LDMOS), (2) a vertical double-diffused transistor (VDMOS), and (3) a V-groove double-diffused transistor. However, the fabrication of these devices is based on BJT processing. Thus, it is difficult to adopt these devices in conventional low-cost CMOS processes. As a result, they are not widely used in VLSI.
The present invention is directed to overcoming or reducing the effects of one or more of the foregoing disadvantages.
An embodiment of the present invention relates to a device that combines a MOSFET and a BJT. The MOSFET comprises a source, a drain, and a body region. After the MOSFET is turned on, the resulting field effect channel allows the electrons to flow from one node (e.g., the source) to another node (e.g., the drain). The movement of the electrons causes a large number of holes to be generated in the body through a mechanism called impact-ionization. The body region of the MOSFET forms the base of the BJT. The holes raise the potential of the base. When a threshold base-emitter voltage of the BJT is reached, the BJT is turned on. It can then conduct a large amount of current.
Device fabrication is compatible with bulk CMOS process. The device can be easily scaled down to sub-50 nm dimensions. As a result, the device is simple to fabricate and can handle high power.
In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a method of operating a switching device is provided that includes providing a MOS transistor that has a gate, a source region, a drain region and a body region. A bipolar transistor is provided that has a collector, a base and an emitter. The body region of the MOS transistor serves as the base of the bipolar transistor and the drain region of the MOS transistor serves as the collector of the bipolar transistor. Activation of the MOS transistor causes the bipolar transistor to turn on. The MOS transistor is activated to turn on the bipolar transistor and the bipolar transistor delivers current to the source region.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a method of fabricating a device is provided. A MOS transistor is formed that has a gate, a source region, a drain region and a body region. A bipolar transistor is formed that has a collector, a base and an emitter. The body region of the MOS transistor is formed to serve as the base of the bipolar transistor and the drain region of the MOS transistor is formed to serve as the collector of the bipolar transistor.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a switching device is provided that includes a MOS transistor that has a gate, a source region, a drain region and a body region. A bipolar transistor is provided that includes a collector, a base and an emitter. The body region of the MOS transistor servers as the base of the bipolar transistor and the drain region of the MOS transistor serves as the collector of the bipolar transistor. Activation of the MOS transistor causes the bipolar transistor to turn on.
In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a storage cell is provided that includes a MOS transistor that has a gate, a source region, a drain region and a body region. A bipolar transistor is provided that has a collector, a base and an emitter. A storage structure is electrically coupled to the drain region. The body region of the MOS transistor servers as the base of the bipolar transistor and the drain region of the MOS transistor serves as the collector of the bipolar transistor such that activation of the MOS transistor causes the bipolar transistor to turn on.
The following description is presented to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention. Descriptions of specific applications are provided only as examples. Various modifications to the disclosed embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and the general principles defined herein may be applied to other embodiments and applications without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features disclosed herein.
Turning now to the drawings, and in particular to
The BJT 112 includes a collector 120, a base 122 and an emitter 124. The device 100 is designed to deliver higher currents than might be possible using conventional MOSFET devices. Accordingly, and as described in more detail below: (1) the drain node 118 of the MOSFET 110 doubles as the collector node 120 of the BJT 112; (2) the source node 116 of the MOSFET 110 doubles as the emitter node 124 of the BJT 112; and (3) the body 119 of the MOSFET 110 doubles as the base node 122 of the BJT 112. A current source 126, driven by impact ionization as described in detail below, can turn on the base 122 of the BJT 112. Once the base 122 is turned on, a substantial amount of current can flow through the device 100.
A sectional view of an exemplary physical implementation of the exemplary embodiment of the switching device 100 is depicted in
The impurity region 116, the gate 114, the impurity region 118 and the impurity region or body 119 serve, respectively, as the source, gate, drain and body of a MOSFET. The impurity region 118, the impurity region 119 and the N+ body 136 serve, respectively, as the collector, base and emitter of a BJT. Thus, the impurity region 118 serves double duty as a MOSFET drain and a BJT collector, and the impurity region 119 serves double duty as the MOSFET body and BJT base.
Electrons e− and holes h+ are shown to illustrate the operation of the device 100. In one embodiment, positive voltages are applied to the gate 114 and the impurity region 118 while the impurity region 116 and the N+ body 136 are tied to ground. A channel is formed in the impurity region 119 underneath the gate 114 between the impurity region 116 and the impurity region 118. Electrons e− are able to move from the impurity region 116 to the impurity region 118. As a result of impact ionization (represented by the element number 126), electron-hole h+ pairs are formed that pile up inside the impurity region 119. The holes h+ raise the potential of the impurity region 119 while the potential of the N+ region 136 remains at ground. When the potential between the impurity region 119 and the N+ body 136 rises above a threshold value, the junction between these two bodies becomes a forward biased diode and bipolar action kicks in. Current from the impurity region or drain 118 can now flow to the impurity region or source 116 through the impurity region 119 and the N+ impurity region 136 shown by the current path 142. Because the path 142 has a large area compared to that of the channel between the impurity regions 116 and 118, a substantial amount of current can be conducted.
The I-V curve 152 shows the characteristics of the device 100 when the potential Vgate at the gate 114 (see
Exemplary fabrication processes for the switching device disclosed herein will now be described. At least two types of process flows can be used. In the first type, device fabrication starts from a conventional bulk silicon wafer. A highly doped N-type epitaxial layer is grown on a substrate. A P-type layer is then grown by an additional epitaxial process. The gate dielectric, gate and source/drain implantation are formed using conventional CMOS processing. An N-type implant at the source side is applied to create a source to N-body connection at the transition region of the type numbered 137 and shown in
In a second exemplary process flow, a retrograded N-well process is used. The N-body is formed using high energy and high dose implantation prior to conventional transistor formation. The rest of process is similar to the first type of process flow.
An exemplary doping profile for the device 100 is depicted in
An alternate exemplary embodiment of the switching device 100′ is depiction in section in
However, unlike the device 100, there is no top contact connected to the source region 116. Instead, a contact 172 is coupled to a common region 174 that extends from the N+ region 136 of the device 100′. The common region 174 is separated from the source region 116 using an isolation structure 176. The isolation structure may be trench isolation, field oxide or the like. In this embodiment, carriers collected by the sources of all devices to the right of the common region 170, including the source 116 of the device 100′, can be removed through the top contact 174 through the highly conductive N+ region 136. One advantage of this arrangement is that the number of top contacts and the size of the device can be reduced.
The switching device disclosed herein can be used in a variety of semiconductor products. One application of the device is in supplying current to a phase change memory (also known as PRAM). A PRAM is a type of nonvolatile memory. The storage material can be structurally altered between a crystalline state and an amorphous state by the application of heat. The crystalline and amorphous states each have dramatically different electric resistivity. In one embodiment, the high resistance amorphous state also known as the “RESET” state is used to represent a binary “1”, and the low resistance crystalline state also known as the “SET” state is used to represent a binary “0”. The heat to change the resistance state of the phase change material is generated by electrical current. As a result, PRAM requires high current conduction, especially for the RESET operation, which needs high current to produce enough heat to transfer the phase change material from a crystalline to an amorphous phase.
Two conventional PRAM cells 180 and 182 are depicted in
The conventional cells 180 and 182 are hampered by two space limitations that are depicted in
An exemplary embodiment of two PRAM cells 220 and 222 in accordance with the present invention are depicted in
The cell 222 is like a mirror image of the cell 220. In this regard, the cell 222 includes a wordline 246 and a gate dielectric 248 stack positioned on the semiconductor layer 228. The wordline 246 is straddled by an impurity region 250 and the impurity region 234 shared with the cell 220. Though not visible in
Note that there is no contact between the word lines 224 and 246 of the cells 220 and 222. As a result, the cell separation X2 in
A timing diagram 264 of the operation of a PRAM cell, such as the PRAM cell 220, is shown in
In the SET condition, the bias voltage applied to the word line is substantially the same as the bias voltage 272 and a bias voltage 278 is applied to the bit line. Bias voltage 278 can be the same as or lower than voltage 270. Note that the width of the bit line bias voltage 278 pulse in the SET condition is wider than that of the RESET condition 272. This condition is designed such that the current level is not high enough to change the phase change material to amorphous state and high enough to change the material to crystalline state. A READ after the SET condition is similar to the above-described READ after the RESET condition.
While the invention may be susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments have been shown by way of example in the drawings and have been described in detail herein. However, it should be understood that the invention is not intended to be limited to the particular forms disclosed. Rather, the invention is to cover all modifications, equivalents and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the following appended claims.
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|U.S. Classification||365/177, 365/179|